I’m a baseball person. I love the game, and I love how the game has built a ‘language’ out of it’s statistics. Back when the earth was still cooling, and dinosaurs roamed various outfields, that is to say the ’80’s, the only source for stats came from the Elias Sports Bureau, often through the pages of The Sporting News. But for fans who wanted access to stats…let’s just say it wasn’t cheap or easy. So people started building a data base of games and plays of what was current being played. But people wanted to apply the same thing to games before 1984, and they did in Project Retrosheet. I worked on this for many years entering over 4,000 games from old scoresheets, newspaper accounts… you name it. We did this for nothing, and all the data was free as well. I’ve always called this ‘weaving the electronic quilt’, building the knowledge base that others will do research from. And that effort continues to this day.
I now see this effort as not just a charity, but a pointer to what we will all do eventually….create! Amba sent me this interesting link which takes my older idea even further. Creation is not just making the Mona Lisa; it’s building all the little connections, knowledge, and tools that are now what people want. We are just at the beginning of how to ‘monitize’ this creativity; I suspect these early forms will give way to more sophisticated and complex ones.